Jessica Leidolph: Model suffers injuries on face after leopard attack during photoshoot
Jessica Leidolph, 36, had to be airlifted to a specialist clinic after the incident on Tuesday at a compound in the town of Nebra, Germany
A model was attacked by a leopard during a photoshoot in Germany. The harrowing ordeal is said to have scarred her for life.
Thirty six-year-old Jessica Leidolph, who is also an animal rights activist, had to be airlifted to a specialist clinic after the incident on Tuesday, August 24, at a compound in the town of Nebra in eastern Germany. The compound is reportedly used as a retirement home for show animals, one of whom is 16-year-old leopard Troja, who attacked Leidolph during the shoot.
Leidolph entered the leopard's enclosure at the 'Seniorenresidenz fur Showtiere' - which translates to 'retirement home for show animals' - when the 16-year-old beast attacked her unprovoked. The incident is being probed by German authorities, who are focusing on the owner of the big cat, Birgit Stache, 48, on suspicion of negligent bodily harm, according to the DPA news agency. Police are also investigating what safety precautions were taken and who else was present at the photoshoot.
The compound was visited on Wednesday, August 25, by a public health officer to check whether the animals were being kept adequately and the facility met regulatory standards. Stache, who spent over two decades as an animal trainer for circuses and amusement parks, has owned the leopard involved in the attack along with another since 2019.
According to the Daily Mail, Troja and 18-year-old Paris, another leopard at the enclosure, had once featured in an ad for Panasonic before they were moved to the nearly 10,000 sq ft compound in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt.
Speaking to Bild after undergoing surgery, Jessica recounted how the beast "repeatedly kept biting my cheek, ear, and head." The 36-year-old model, who was brought to the hospital with severe bleeding wounds, added that after losing consciousness the next thing she heard was the helicopter that airlifted her.
Local media had incorrectly reported that the predator had escaped the enclosure and was a looming threat. However, Burgenland District spokesperson Steven Muller-Uhrig later clarified that the "animal never broke out. There is currently no danger to the population." He explained that keeping leopards does not require a permit in Saxony Anhalt and that it is "not legally limited by the state." However, authorities are reportedly considering revoking Stache's license for the retirement home meant for show animals.
Earlier this month, MEAWW reported how Brooklyn man Vernon Foster was arrested and charged with criminally negligent murder after his 19-month-old son Ryan was mauled to death by the family's Rottweiler.
The Foster family dog, a Rottweiler named Buster, had a history of aggression, ABC New York reported. Ryan was bitten by the dog around 10:45 pm, on August 10 inside an apartment on East 17th Street in Flatbush, according to authorities. Investigators said Foster left the child alone with his two older brothers as he went to work. The Rottweiler bit Ryan in the neck and shoulder, causing him to bleed profusely. Upon arrival at Maimonides Hospital, the boy was pronounced dead despite the doctors' best efforts.